Could The Washington Nationals Be Playing With A DH In The Near Future?


With John Mozeliak’s comments this past weekend, how would the Washington Nationals’ lineup look in 2016 if they used a designated hitter?

Over the last couple of seasons in Major League Baseball, there has been an InterLeague matchup every day between the American League and National League. Now, could the National League be getting a designated hitter a few years from now? There were some interesting comments made by St. Louis Cardinals’ general manager John Mozeliak over the weekend about how more people are thinking there’s a possiblity the NL should adopt the DH. Here are some of his comments:

"“Over the past year it has. I’m not suggesting you’re going to see a change but I definitely think the momentum (has changed)”. (h/t Derrick Goold, St. Louis Post Dispatch)"

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For me, I’ve always been in favor of adding the designated hitter in both leagues because while some of the at-bats by pitchers can be entertaining (i.e Bartolo Colon), most of the time it is an easy out for the opposing pitcher. Plus, if a pitcher does get hurt, I would rather he get hurt pitching than swinging a bat or running the bases.

However, both Max Scherzer and Jordan Zimmermann finished in the top ten in all of baseball in 2015 for hits by a pitcher. Scherzer was tied with Zack Greinke for second with 15 hits. Plus, Nats’ pitchers finished with 51 total hits, which was one hit behind the Mets for the most in the majors (52).

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While the designated hitter won’t be adopted this season, it got me to thinking how the Nationals lineup could possibly look. For one, Jayson Werth could be the full-time designated hitter and it would allow Michael Taylor to continue to develop in the field as an everyday left fielder. Plus, manager Dusty Baker could bookend Taylor and Ben Revere at the one and nine spots in the batting order to provide more speed on the bases.

Then, if you looked at the second base situation, a lot of people did not like paying Daniel Murphy $37.5 million because of his sub-par defense. Well, if you had the designated hitter, Murphy could play there and continue to provide quality offense. Plus, it would have left a spot open for Trea Turner or Stephen Drew to play second base and improve the defense up the middle for the Nats.

Next: District Daily: Why The Nats Can Win The NL East In 2016

Last season, the Nats scored 83 runs against American League teams, which was the sixth most in the NL. Out of those 83 runs, 56 of those came in AL ballparks (67.4%) over the course of 11 games. While it’s definitely not a given that the DH will ever be added to the National League and I understand the viewpoint of purists to keep the NL rules, it would definitely bring more offense to the NL.